Designer Joseph Walsh believes that the quality of life can be improved by surrounding ourselves with work that is valued beyond both its form and function, an idea manifested through his functional art and sculptures embedded with calculated chaos. Walsh designs and produces pieces that stimulate the mind, entice the senses, and exist as more than our traditional view of furniture and design objects.
Walsh designs one-of-a-kind pieces like the enormous desk he produced as a part of the Design Show exhibition at the New Art Centre in Roche Court in 2014. At its center the pieces looks almost like a traditional work surface, then it spirals upward, engulfing visitors and ending in a very large shelf that extends against one wall of the gallery.
In Walsh’s Lilium series he explores the relationship between the geometric and the organic, mixing symmetrical repetitions with elaborate abstract shapes. Through each of these techniques Walsh captures natural growth, calling forth nature’s sometimes random generations and curious patterns.
“In ‘Lilium’ I explore the relationship between the ordered and chaotic; the geometric and the lyrical; the perfect, effortless symmetry of the bulb, the regulated, controlled element and its freed form as it reaches through and beyond,” says Walsh. “The Lilium series is both a study and an expression of the relationship between the beauty we create and the beauty we allow to happen; the beauty we participate in creating and the beauty we quietly observe.”
Walsh founded his studio and workshop in 1999 in Co. Cork, Ireland. Self-taught, he continually seeks inspiration for his pieces in patterns of growth and evolution. Walsh does not work alone, but with a team of master makers and technicians, helping to both engineer and craft the final pieces that come out of the studio. You can see more images of his elegantly designed furniture and decorative pieces on his Facebook page. (via My Amp Goes to 11 and My Modern Met)
Stefanie Rocknak’s pieces are slightly larger than lifesize, torsos and heads twisted into intense expressions that can be seen in both the face and body. Each work is incredibly serious, the pupil-less eyes seeming to look right through the viewer.
The Swimmer is one of Rocknak’s most active pieces, her subject carved into an environment of rough waves, fighting for a breath while they are caught mid-stroke. Details can be seen down to the swimmer’s wristwatch and veins, palpable adrenaline coursing through the subject’s body.
The New York-based artist’s sculptural practice is highly influenced by her many trips to Europe, especially by Michelangelo, Donatello, and Bernini who she experienced in Rome. Although trained as a painter, she fell in love with the warmth and unpredictability of wood, preferring three dimensional work over two. Rocknak likes to stick to the detail of the work’s physical creation explaining that “conceptual art leaves me cold. So my figures, quite intentionally, are immediate and obvious; ideally, they do not need a theory to do their talking.”
Rocknak has a solo exhibition this spring at the The New York Sculptors Guild Gallery titled The Royal Family. (via Artist a Day)
Tasmania-based furniture and lighting designer Duncan Meerding highlights the naturally occuring cracks in sustainably sourced logs by inserting warm yellow LEDs that illuminate each piece of wood from within. Meerding, who is legally blind, is fascinated by unusual light applications which he refers to as his “alternative sensory world.” Each cracked log lamp can be used as a stool, table, or simply a light accessory, and the pieces are available through a number of shops throughout Australia. Photos by Jan Dallas. (via My Modern Met, Inhabitat)
Last year around this time, Zuzia Kozerska of Valek Rolling Pins (previously) practically set the internet on fire with lasers, more specifically her laser engraved rolling pins that imprint different patterns in cookie dough. Kozerska has been hard at work creating increasingly more complex designs as well as special mini pins just for kids. You can see more in her Etsy shop.
When looking at these wall-mounted sculptures depicting wrinkled dresses that sprout leaves or butterflies by artist Ron Isaacs (previously), you would be forgiven for thinking they were constructed from anything other than their actual materials: plywood and acrylic paint. Isaacs uses pieces of layered Finnish birch to construct every detail of these architectural clothes which he then covers in trompe l’oeil painting to create the illusion of depth. “I am still fascinated by the old simple idea of resemblance, the very first idea of art after tools and shelter: That an object made of one material can take on the outward appearance and therefore some of the ‘reality. of another,” says Isaacs. You can see his most recent collection of work as part of his second solo show at Tory Folliard Gallery in Milwaukee through May 23, 2015.
Artist Michael Beitz (previously) designed two more of his amazing sculptural tables in the last year. The first is called Tree Picnic, a functional 50-foot-long picnic table that branches like a tree at the Michigan Riley Farm in Buffalo, NY. The other piece is a 18-foot-long tangle of looping wood titled Not Now, referring to the table’s anti-social design. The sculpture was on view last year as part of his solo show called Maybe Later at the Roswell Museum and Art Center. You can see more of his strange interpretations of everyday furniture in this online gallery. (via Contemporist)